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Re: Changing the language of gnus menu entries


From: Michael Heerdegen
Subject: Re: Changing the language of gnus menu entries
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2013 20:29:55 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.3.50 (gnu/linux)

Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> writes:

> > From: Michael Heerdegen <address@hidden>
> > Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2013 15:30:11 +0200
> > 
> > I don't have a good feeling about that.  It's already lots of work to
> > keep the English docstrings up to date.  And if some volunteers leave,
> > people are left with outdated docstrings in their language they count
> > on.
> > 
> > I'm not against localizing menus, but docstrings?  Most of programmers
> > will understand English, and binding so much work, constantly, for very
> > few users?  IMHO we should spend our time with other important tasks to
> > improve user experience.
>
> You are, in effect, saying that Emacs should not be localized.  If doc
> strings, echo-area messages, and help-echo messages are not to be
> localized, what's the value of having single-word menus localized?

There are some beginners that even don't know M-x - localized menus
would be cool for such users, as a start in using Emacs - nothing more.
But you're right about me saying that Emacs should not be localized, in
general.

Why?  Even if I ignore the massive amount of work that could be invested
at other places for more benefit, I see many disadvantages:

- Half of docstring words are Emacs-specific technical terms.  How
  would you translate such words as "frame", "point", "face" into, say,
  German?  There are now words for that.  When I talk about Emacs with
  my friends (in German), I also say "frame", "point" etc.

- If you don't speak English, how will you memorize hundreds of command
  names?  We would have to localize command names, too.  But then,
  keybindings are hard to remember, because lots of them are
  abbreviations of (English) command names.

- Do we do people a favor?  Not speaking English, you won't be able to
  get help from gnu.emacs.help.  You won't write bug reports.  Yes,
  that's possible - theoretically.  But Emacs community is too small to
  keep this alive in practice.  You won't be able to talk to developers.
  You just can't participate.

- A great feature of Emacs is that there are third party packages for
  lots of stuff.  Packages that are explained in English and nobody has
  time to translate.

At the end, I think, we would make some progress, and after most of the
work is done after some months or years, development will stop, and
nobody is there keeping things ticking over.  Because work having to be
done continuously must be fun, else, nobody cares.  We already see this
today with the English docs: how many reports arriving at gnu.emacs.bug
contain patches that are concerning documentation?


Regards,

Michael.




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